Financial services students help the community during tax season

The debut of the student-led tax workshop on campus aims to help students get through the 2024 tax filing season
Photo: Itel Sapozhnikov
Daniela Estupinan (left) and Dane Ly (right) are ready to help at the student led tax workshop.

Yuki Lida, a project management student from Japan attended the student-led tax workshop to get help with her taxes on March 21.

“I had a similar system in Japan, tax return system, but its completely different,” said Lida. “I have to collect all documents and everything and I don’t know how to proceed.”

Khushal Mehra and Reshma Ravindran are second-year financial services students from India who assisted Lida.

“I like to file taxes for the students, newcomers and helping others,” said Ravindran who has a financial services background in India.

Algonquin College’s financial services students hosted their first student-led tax workshop on campus in collaboration with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, and the Canadian Revenue Agency during the 2024 tax filing season.

“It helps students to find someone that can file their taxes for them, especially international students being new to Canada, the tax system is completely new,” said Daniela Estupinan, a second-year financial services student.

Reshma Ravindran (right) helping Yuki Lida (left) with the tax filing process at the student led tax workshop
Reshma Ravindran (right) helping Yuki Lida (left) with the tax filing process at the student led tax workshop. Photo credit: Itel Sapozhnikov

The tax workshop opened on March 13 and runs biweekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays in room 206B in the E-building.

On the dates of March 20, and April 4, the tax workshop will be relocated to room 126 in the C-building.

The CVITP has been around for decades helping Canadians free of charge, as long as they meet the criteria.

“You don’t know who to reach out to, or you don’t have the funds to pay out-of-account to do your taxes, that’s how we help our community,” said Estupinan.

“So, some students work, right? Part-time,” said Estupinan. “So, they can bring us their T4 from their employment, and the tuition receipt that Algonquin gives, and that’s it.”

Luc Dubé, a finance services professor was thankful for the opportunity to help people with their taxes and to participate in the first student-led tax workshop at Algonquin College.

“Our goal is to help students, help their families, help individuals that have come to Canada, newcomers, and we’ve also helped a few refugees,” said Dubé. “Individuals that were under the impression that the tax workshop was for everybody, they were so thankful that we helped them out.”

Dubé said that the program is directed towards helping students but he could not resist helping other members of the community.

He explained the Algonquin College tax workshop process in three steps. The room was divided by tables, each representing a step.

“The screening process, first table, is to make sure they qualify,” said Dubé. “We cannot do taxes for individuals that are self-employed, that have unrealized capital gains.”

Anything that’s out of the ordinary, too complicated, that’s outside the scope of what CRA has given us a mandate for, we cannot help them,” said Dubé

Khushal Mehra, the screener at the student led tax workshop
Khushal Mehra works as the screener at the student led tax workshop Photo credit: Itel Sapozhnikov

In the case that the applicant does not qualify, the financial services students attempt to provide referrals and resources.

Once the applicant passes the screening process with one of the financial services students, they proceed to the next step.

The second step involves a QR code asking for basic information, qualifications and statistics.

“The third table, what we do is we have the CRA waiver. That’s one of the most important steps. The CRA waiver just lets them know that we are volunteers,” said Dubé.

Once all steps are completed, all the information is filed into a database provided by the CRA which will validate the information.

“Just to be clear, we are not tax preparers, all we do is transmit the student’s information to CRA,” said Dubé.

Dubé said that this project was created to allow students to practice the knowledge they have learned since the beginning of the course and to build confidence all while helping other students.

The tax workshop’s last day will be on April 4.

Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram

Sections

Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times on Instagram

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter

You have been subscribed. Thank you!